Sgt. Michael A. "Mike" Towler Sr.
Sgt. Michael A. "Mike" Towler Sr., 54, of the town of Trenton, was greeted by his Lord with open arms on Friday, July 28, 2006, when he passed away at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, surrounded by his family, due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Mike was born on Feb. 26, 1952 in Milwaukee to Victor and Celine (nee Renzelman) Towler. He graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1970.
Shortly after, he entered the U.S. Army and proudly served his country from April of 1971 to October of 1977. His tour of duty took him from the Continental United States to Wobeck, Germany, and then to the Aleutian chain in Alaska working in the Special Services Unit.
He was honorably discharged in October of 1977 with the rank of sergeant.
During this time, he married Jane Finkler and started a family of three.
After returning home from his military duties, he settled in West Bend and was a full-time employee for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as a jailer and dispatcher, while working part time for the West Bend Police Department as a police officer.
On Jan. 1, 1980, Mike was offered a full-time position with the West Bend Police Department and began his 26-year career.
Mike continued his education and received an associate degree in liberal arts in 1985 at the University of Wisconsin-Washington County.
On May 2, 1998, he married Debbie L. Bernard-Lemke at Northbrook Church in Richfield, adding four more children to his loving family.
The couple resided in West Bend and in February of 2000, moved to the town of Trenton, where they planned and built their dream home.
In January of 2006, Mike returned to UW-WC to transform his associate degree in liberal arts into a Bachelor De-gree of Science in nursing.
He retired from the West Bend Police Department with the status of sergeant on April 29, 2006.
Mike took algebra in Jan-uary and nursing 101 as a summer class, receiving an "A" in both classes. He then enrolled as a full-time nursing student for the upcoming fall semester at UW-WC.
He was a member of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the Washington County Sexual Assault Response Team, a Board Member of Friends of Abused Families, A.O.D.A, N.O.V.A., Teen Break-away and the American Cancer Society.
He competed with Wisconsin Professional Police Association State Pistol Shoots on an individual and team basis for over 25 years, achieving high rankings for marksmanship.
Among his favorite activities was riding his Harley with Debbie, hunting, building things for those he loved, but above all, spending time with family was most important to him.
Mike was a member of Northbrook Church in Richfield and was baptized into his new faith on Nov. 21, 1999.
Michael had an active and growing personal relationship with the Lord, which over time transformed him into the caring and giving man he became.
He was not only the first to offer his help to those in need, but also the one his family and friends turned to for help or advice.
He will be deeply missed and forever in the hearts of his beloved wife, soulmate and best friend of eight years, Debbie; his cherished children, Christy (special friend Manuel Cortez) Towler of West Bend, Michael Towler Jr. of West Bend, Joshua (Emily) Lemke of Sheboygan, Micah Lemke of Saukville, Jessica (special friend Ryan Davies) Lemke of Saukville and Adam (Julie) Lemke of Newburg; adored grandchildren, Taylor Towler, Cassie Walker, Hart and Hailey King, Samuel Lemke and Noah Lemke; loving mother, Celine Towler of West Allis; and parents-in-law, Jim and Lorrie Bernard of Prescott, Ariz.
He was the dear brother and brother-in-law of Linda (Greg) Dornoff of Milwaukee, Gail (Tim) Noll of Beaver Dam, Paul (Debbie) Towler of New Berlin, Ted (Chris) Towler of West Allis and Victor (Ellen) Towler of Apache Junction, Ariz.; and on Debbie’s side, Shelly (Roger) Stalter of Prescott Valley, Ariz. and Jean (Darrell) Pearcy of Greenwood, Ark.
Also surviving is friend and mother of his three children, Jane Towler of West Bend.
Mike was also a close and special friend of Chris and Mary Velnetske of Cedarburg, Steve and Cindy Hoogester of West Bend and Ruth Blair of West Bend.
Mike will also by missed by nieces, nephews, other special relatives and many dear friends, including his fellow officers and co-workers at the West Bend Police Department, West Bend City Hall, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Washing-ton County Courthouse and West Bend Fire Department.
He was preceded in death by his father, Victor; his grandparents; a son, Matthew Towler; and a son-in-law-to-be, Ryan Tesch.
A memorial service in honor of Michael will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. at Northbrook Church, 1014 Highway 167 West, Richfield, with Pastor C. Lee Heyward officiating.
Private interment will take place in Waubeka Union Ceme-tery.
Visitation with the family will be at the church on Tuesday from 3 p.m. until the time of service.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation for memorials, in lieu of flowers.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family.
A special thank you to Pastor C. Lee Heyward, Pastor Sam Anderson, James Mercado, the S.I.C.U. nursing staff at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and the hotel staff at the Holiday Inn Express, 11111 W. North Ave., for the care and compassion given to our family. Each and every one of you has a very special gift given to you from up above.